Polymer turbulence drag reduction

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In 1948 Toms discovered by experiments that the addition of a small amount of polymer into a turbulent Newtonian solvent (parts per million by weight), which results in a Non-Newtonian fluid solution, can reduce the skin frictional drag on a stationary surface by up to 80% . This technology has been successfully implemented to reduce pumping cost for oil pipelines, to increase the flow rate in fire fighting equipment and to help irrigation and drainage (Sellin & Ollis, 1980; Khalil et al., 2002). It also has potential applications in the design of ship and submarine hulls to achieve an increased speed and reduced energy cost.

See also[edit]

Drag reducing agent


Non-Newtonian fluid

Direct numerical simulation

External links[edit]


Toms, B. 1948 Observation on the flow of linear polymer solutions through straight tubes at large Reynolds numbers. Proc. Int’l Rheological Congress 2, 135–141

Sellin, R. H. J. & Ollis, M. 1980 Polymer drag reduction in large pipes and sewers: Results of recent field trials. Journal of Rheology

Khalil, M. F., Kassab, S. Z., Elmiligui, A. A. & Naoum, F. A. 2002 Applications of drag-reducing polymers in sprinkler irrigation systems: Sprinkler head performance. Journal of Irrigation and Drainage Engineering

Jin S 2007 Numerical simulations of a dilute polymer solution in isotropic turbulence PhD Thesis Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

Liberzon A., Guala M., Lüthi B., Kinzelbach W. and Tsinober A. Dilute polymers in turbulence Physics of Fluids, 17, 031707, 2005 link

Liberzon A., Guala M., Kinzelbach W., and Tsinober A. On turbulent kinetic energy production and dissipation in dilute polymer solutions Physics of Fluids 18, 125101, 2006 link

Liberzon A., Guala M., Holzner M., Lüthi B., and Kinzelbach W. On turbulent entrainment and dissipation in dilute polymer solutions, Physics of Fluids, 21, 035107, 2009 link